The Derelict Palace

Pursed Doors,
With disuse,
Become wall hangings

Parsed Stories
From inside
Eventually stop rapping

And the bare knuckles
Of things that have been
Fold across the still lap
Of inert chronos

Wrapping over the lips
The muffled mouth
Of closed doors.

Framed art
Oft passed by
Neglects to capture
The incalcitrant eye
It fades into flat spaces
Of cobwebs and refusals

The day breaking impotent
When the mouth reopens
To finally loose
A foreign tongue.

Evicted Verses

Where shall I keep my secret thoughts?
Scrawled in ink on fallen trees
Whispered to the roving winds
Migrating on the wayward breeze
Folded thrice in covert deposit
In the cupboard hidden beneath the stair
Buried in a vacant coffee can,
Etched in ash against the night air
Swirling upward in funeral dirge
A final surge of flicker and flight
Where might I discover the habitat
To keep these little thoughts aright?

Rising Tide

Toes again
In the virgin soil
All the running,
The years, the misplaced faith
In our irrevocable brokenness
And I return to wade in the waves
Of the great unknown

A great secret
Hidden all these years
In the plainest sight:
Everyone’s broken.
Our existence
Is an inalienable right
And blessed privilege.

And the standard
Is to breathe
Toe the ebb and flow
And fail
And believe
And live on.

Native Tongue

I’ve been the foreigner
In every land I’ve lived
Seeking strangers to give
Alms of recognition
My ambition
To form a family
Bonded by noble desires,
But I’m ever the outlier
And my search is finished;
I return- I am diminished
And as I should be.
Slipping quietly from view
While foreigners run to and fro
Mending all the world’s woes
I will sit in the brokenness
That birthed me,

Because it’s the right thing to do.

A Road Turned In

I used to believe the open road
Healed all wounds
And how it soothed
The standing heat of idle days
Rolled out every which way
But home.

These roads became a vascular web,
A spaghetti junction,
Serving a single function:
Protecting the pocket that
Would not heal

Using these temporary escapes
To instead restore, to expose,
To open the pocket, to close
The distance between two points
And no one untraveled
Knows the pain,

The hope,

The strength it takes
To roll up the pavement.

In The Morning

This is a fraught, complicated,
No-win situation.
I can find no solution
To the dilemma I’m in
Nothing that satisfies
My body often churned
I struggle to distill
All I’ve seen and learned
By act of will,
I force my next steps
Unsure how to deploy
There’s grief, there’s anguish,
But underneath, there’s joy.

You, who sings over my soul
In every changing season
Are God of all, God with us,
Brokenness is no treason
In the Hands of the Great Physician
I regret no sorrow I’ve seen
When You’ve flooded
Every hidden moment between
With joy inexpressible.

Midnight Melodies

When the work is done
The evening tucks away the day
Lullabies to the sun
Darkness spreads like a duvet
Over a terrafirma mattress
I say goodnight to my fight
Between the faith and the actress
And the moon is a screen
For the slide projectors
Lying in the dark, in the quiet,
Where there are no protectors
And memories harp on in sharp form
And years burn like papercuts
Nothing negates the good,

But it hurts anyway.

Stray Life

My mother was a purebred feline
Thrown out young
Part refined, part feral
She became a barn cat
Carried a full litter
Nearly alone
She tried to keep them
In her own way
But they were all wild together
Feeding on rodents
And random scraps of generosity
Biting at each other
For their daily necessities
Her barn became her purebred palace
And her litter moved on
But she still brings home rodents
Searching the dark corners
For her missing mews
While the scraps dried up
She moans and calls
To an empty barn
The only place she feels at home

There’s no more tragic story
Than that of a barn cat.


A Lighter Matter

I hold onto these days
These sun-splashed
Joy-soaked, laughter and hugs
And jokes rehashed
Days of unfolding and building
And dancing in the kitchen
Bubbles in the grass, game pieces
Under everything- we’re rich
In every way that matters.

Miss Diagnosis

What kind of wild-eyed
Ravenous, wet-toothed certainty
Sinks into someone’s right
To be.
Let those who limp
Take the stand
Point the finger
These designations
Are not in the diagnostic jurisdiction.

Who can help make it function
Through total disassembly?